Top Ten Ways Women Entrepreneurs Boost Productivity
By Susan L Reid, business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial
women starting up businesses.
Listed in a David Letterman’s reverse “Top Ten” order, here are the
top ten ways women entrepreneurs boost productivity:
10. Write out your to-do list the night before.
Don’t wait until morning to make your list. Write your list the
night before. Allow the process to percolate while you sleep. Then,
when you wake up, it’s as if you’ve had an eight-hour head start on
9. Prioritize your daily list using the “ABCD and E” method.
= must do
B = should do
C = would be nice to do
D = delegate
E = eliminate
8. Wake up early and get off to a good start.
Wake up early to set the tone for your day. This allows you to get
into the swing of things at an unhurried pace. Establish a morning
routine that is of greatest benefit to you, not just to your family.
7. Delegate everything possible.
If it isn’t directly making you money, delegate it to someone else.
Turn over data-entry tasks, packing and shipping, and answering
non-essential e-mails and calls to a competent administrative
professional. Not sure if you should turn something over? Ask
yourself, “Can this task be done by someone else, or does it need my
direct attention?” As an entrepreneur, your job is to concentrate on
what is of most value to you and your business success...not on
6. Know your energy peaks and valleys.
You are in control of your business. You get to say when, you get to
say how, and you get to say how long. As an entrepreneur, you aren’t
locked into a 9-to-5 workday. You can start work at the crack of
dawn, go to the gym in the afternoon, and outline a new product idea
in the evening. Schedule work activities, family time, and personal
quiet time around the natural ebb and flow of your energy peaks and
5. Find a way to love what you do.
If you love what you do then you are more apt to be productive
because you are fully engaged. No matter what you’re doing at any
given time, find a way to love doing it.
4. If in doubt, throw it out.
Make liberal use of your waste can and recycle bin. Regularly go
through files and throw out or shred material that is outdated or no
longer relevant. There is no need to save everything “just in case”
you’ll need it later. Trust that if you throw something out today
and you need it in the future, you’ll be able to get your hands on
3. Break up projects into tasks.
If you have something on your to-do list that’s been there for a
long time, realize that it’s probably not a task. It’s a project.
To-do lists are for discreet tasks. When you put a project on your
list, you’ll feel bogged down and productivity will slow. Many of
the women entrepreneurs surveyed use business strategist Brian
Tracy’s method for breaking up projects into easy-to-do tasks:
First, list the finished result you want. Next, map out every single
step of the project. Then, put the steps into order, moving the
important steps to the front. Now, delegate tasks and assign
Finally, track the progress of the project.
2. Give 80% of your attention to what is important and 20% to what
As an entrepreneur, your job is to discern the difference between
what’s important and what’s urgent. To figure out the difference
between the two, ask yourself, “Will focusing on this move my
business forward and make me money, or will I just be putting out
Dealing with the urgent all day is draining. Dealing with the
important is energizing. Make sure you’re giving 80% of your time
and attention to what’s important each day.
1. Focus on one thing at a time.
The number-one thing women entrepreneurs do to boost productivity
is…focus on one thing at a time. Although women are known to be
exceptional multi-taskers, those surveyed said they were able to get
more done when they focused on one thing at a time. Starting and
stopping in the middle of things was frustrating for them and meant
that not much was completed at day’s end.
If focusing on one thing at a time is challenging for you, have a
pen and paper nearby. That way, if something pops into your head,
just write it down and get right back to the task at hand.
What is the number one thing you should do to boost your
productivity? As you’ve just seen, among the 250 women entrepreneurs
I surveyed their answers ranged from prioritizing their daily to-do
list to learning to break projects up into smaller tasks to
delegating everything possible. Decide which of their favorite
techniques will help you the most, and start implementing them right
now. You’re sure to boost productivity for yourself and your
Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!
The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always
will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe
it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique
way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking
And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of
and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.
If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more
active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than
you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate
and motivate every month--month after month after month!
Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business,
not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must
break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking
toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of
doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.
As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and
inexpensive solution for moving forward...look
into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a
camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational
marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So
regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will
have the necessary vehicle.
Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am
certain it will be the best investment you ever make.
For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it
can benefit you
your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can
always find the competitive advantage.”
—Sam Walton, founder Wal-Mart stores
Sam Walton’s relentless drive to slash costs led Wal-Mart from a
single store in Arkansas, to over 8,000 stores today. As explained
in his auto-biography, Sam Walton: Made In America, he did it
by understanding that you find your niche by ignoring conventional
In his book he emphasized that “you can make a lot of different
mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you
can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too
inefficient.” Like Walton, an incredible number of today’s
entrepreneurs start out underfinanced and undercapitalized.
In fact, a recent statistic from the U.S. Census and Federal Reserve
Survey shows that “almost half of all new businesses begin with less
than $10,000 in total capital.” Using your trade exchange to make
needed business purchases will enable you to gain that all-important
competitive advantage Walton referred to.
Moreover, your barter sales are all new sales — from an entirely
different source. They provide a young company with a valuable
stabilizer, enabling the time to grow into, and become, a stronger